Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend recap

Like most humans, I’m so glad the weather is getting nicer. It really has been quite a while since I’ve seen the sun or really been inspired to be outdoors for any reason. But this weekend we got our money’s worth. First we visited some nice towns with pretty beaches and boats and blossoming trees along Lake Erie.

My sister came to visit and we went for a few long walks (and some short jogs) in the park. Then, along with many of our family members who live on the same street, we thatched FOUR yards. It was dirty hard work and it felt good.

We read on the back porch and tried to revive some dying plants and finally wrapped up the weekend, and Sam’s birthday festivities, with some bowling. And to think that this is just the beginning of summer!

Yay Summer

Here's a pretty tree in a pretty little town on a pretty stretch of Lake Erie.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sam!

If you'd never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that...Why, you might be a WASN'T!
A Wasn't has no fun at all. No, he doesn't.
A Wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present.
But you...You ARE YOU! And, now isn't that pleasant!

-- Dr. Seuss, from Happy Birthday to You!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Circle of Life

I had anticipated chronicling the long and fruitful life of our first attempts at growing vegetables. Unfortunately our little plants skipped straight to the dying phase of life.

Things started out smoothly enough. We watered our little soil pellets to ready them for seeds from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, and broccoli:

Then we gently embedded the plants to the specified depth:

Several days later we began to see hearty sprouts:

And then robust mini plants:

But then, freakishly, just a few days later the heads of the plants started falling off and plants were dying left and right:

Now all we have left is a tray of mostly dead seedlings. We're still watering them and giving them as much sunlight as possible in hopes of a miraculous revival. Obviously we have much to learn.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Looking back

I’m still working lots of extra hours as you can probably tell by my few and far between posts. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have information to share.

My mom is officially finished with her five-month round of chemo treatments. Her latest blood tests show that the cancer is losing the battle. So what does that make her now? Cancer free? In remission? The Terminator?

Not quite. According to the medical world, she is still thought to have cancer. Even if she gets good marks on all of her tests a few months from now, it may only mean that the cancer cells are at rest. But labels are tricky; often times they avert our eyes from the true essence of a thing, giving us a wholly wrong impression of it.

So what might be a more fitting description of her now? Personally, every time I talk to my mom or hug her or even argue with her (which never happens, I swear) I just see Mom. And that feels so good. I know that she’s not losing herself in this battle. She’s still my mom. And my dad’s wife. And bighearted and funny and a lot of other things that cancer can’t take away.

The book isn’t closed on this journey yet, but I’d say this chapter was pretty encouraging.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April showers bring May flowers

Up until this weekend, my mom has pretty much breezed through chemo. But a body can only gracefully tolerate poison for so long. This weekend the breeze died down, and well, she collapsed with a thud into the proverbial wall. She is achy and nauseous and in jeopardy of losing her finger nails. Plus she continues to suffer hot flashes and exhaustion.

The silver lining lies in the fact that she is very nearly done with chemo. This Thursday is her last scheduled treatment. As winter fades, her storm also should be quieting. And in its wake we hope to see sprouts on her head, strength in her body, and renewed hope in her life.